China’s Internet Video landscape is growing in a fast pace as the major video sharing sites like Youku and Tudou becoming popular in Chinese people’s daily digital lives. These sites are not only served as user based video sharing networks, unlike Youtube, large number of the Chinese people actually watch their favorite TV show and movies on these sites. Issues of copyrights aside, the Hulu-like business model actually opened up a lucrative market for the Chinese companies. At the same time business opportunities were also created for individuals or small groups who are interested in internet media. The idea of “webisode” started in the western world, a new trend which provides opportunities for individuals or small groups to create media content that can potentially become popular. As we observe, user generated content / webisodes is the latest growing trend on the China’s Internet media market. Let’s see some examples.
(Subscribe to Xiaoxi’s Vlog )
This appears to be a personal video diary of a college girl named Liu Xiaoxi, who on the video rambles about her plans and dreams, about nothing and about everything in her life. Looks very much like a typical user-generated video, but in my opinion has the potential to become a popular web reality show. The idea of “anyone can be a director / actor” encourages people to bring out their talents, with the exposure of hundreds of millions of Chinese Internet users, webispodes as simple and low budget as “Liu Xiaoxi” could just be the next hit.
Now let’s check out this other show:
(Check Gang of Five for details)
Gang of Five offers a look into the lives of several bright college graduates who decide to bypass the corporate lifestyle and form their own advertising firm. Having just landed their first major brand, Burger King, the Gang using the camera and turn to the audience for help. Only 10 days after the video, Gang of Five has successfully attracted more than ten thousand views and the audience’s positive participation. What’s worth noting is that Gang of Five creatively involves the audience and their brainpower into the show. The idea of audiences driving the show gives this webpisode a fresh new dimension.
(Check Office Hip-Hop Quartet for detail)
Office Hip-Hop Quartet is currently one of the most successful online web dramas. With only eight episodes in the first season, the show has reached over 40 million total plays, with 5 million per episode, higher than some of the traditional television ratings.
The aforementioned three videos are a tiny fraction of China’s online video content. But they show the blossom of a new art form in China as well as the future of television anonymity of the Internet. We see new forms of audience involvement. Viewers are playing more roles in this market by being part of the participants deeply involved in the show to directly appearing in front of the camera creating a show about themselves.
Video webisodes + advertisement is a successful new media marketing trial. With video advertising enjoy huge popularity around the globe, the market in China for video advertising is likely to continue to grow in an even faster pace.